Jan 8 -

Florida's highest court has been asked to weigh in on whether a federal appeals court was right when it ruled that federal law preempts certain products-liability claims against cigarette makers, potentially affecting hundreds of cases in the state's courts.

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On Wednesday, Florida's Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal found that the estate of deceased smoker Philip Marotta could bring strict liability and negligence claims against tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds. But while it affirmed the $3.5 million judgment from Broward County Circuit Court, the Fourth District also certified the question of whether the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was right that federal law barred those claims to the Florida Supreme Court.

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